Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Are more people texting/talking on their cell phones than before we made it a secondary offense?

Was out running this morning and witnessed a Suburban slowly weaving its way down the street. As it passed (extremely closely) I noticed the driver was typing away on her cell phone. I can only imagine the gravity and sagacity of the text "conversation":

What R U doing
I M driving
Me 2

Look around next time you're on the streets. It seems as if more drivers are texting and talking than aren't. The current wimpy cell phone law has had no effect.

I must admit the texting thing pisses me off anyway. Ignore the people around you. Ignore what is presently going on, so you can carry on an inane "conversation" with another bored person. That's bullshit. It's especially cool when you are at the movie theater and someone in front of you basically shines a flashlight in your eyes by texting on their beacon of a phone.

I guess it's the purposeful disconnection from the surrounding environment and those around them that texters pursue that really sets me off - all the more so when they are hurtling down the road in their steel behemoths. All I have to defend myself from their distractedness and disconnectedness is my running shoes or bicycle pump.

Which brings me to my proposal. I know the state is considering making these driving infractions a primary offense. Spokane should get a jump on it and make it a primary offense in the city right now. A $500 fine for texting while driving. A $200 fine for talking into a cellphone while driving. Cha ching!!

The red light cameras could go to work on this right away.

How about bounty hunting? Pedestrians, passengers and cyclists could take pictures of drivers texting/talking on their phones and turn them in. Split the ticket down the middle. Half goes to the bounty hunter. The other half to the city. People with windows tinted so darkly that you can't see what they are doing would be presumed guilty. I thought these windows were against the law anyway.

Send your pictures to me. I will post them here. If nothing else, it should make for some interesting art.

Taking these pictures isn't as easy as it looks. I was really slow on the draw for this one which would have been cool because it was a big corporate delivery truck:

On the hunt, you see many texters at work behind the wheel, but it's harder to photograph them usually. It's almost like they know what they are doing is wrong and so they are much more furtive in their behavior.

What do you think? Would this be a cool thing to promote or is it kind of an Orwellian affront?


Hank said...

Doesn't using a cell phone to take pictures of people using a cell phone while driving distract you while you're running? ;-)

One point of order for the "Doesn't make sense once you really think about it" department. Those of us wearing hearing aids are exempt from the secondary offense of talking on the cell phone while driving.

On days I don't run I often go for a walk and bring my camera along. If I catch a driver I'll send it your way.

Rob Brewer said...

Should I use my cell phone camera to capture others using their cell phones while driving? I could use the MMS picture messaging to send it to you. All while driving of course!

All of this makes me wonder how many people actually pull to the side of the road to take a call. I do if the call is too important to go to voicemail. Which is rare. I usually let voicemail take the call. I never see other people pulled over though.

Pat S said...

Love it! Let's crucify the bastar

Pat S said...

. . . sorry, my Yukon hit a pothole and jarred my phone loose. As I was saying, let's crucify the bastards!

Pat S said...

All kidding aside, as a cyclist, texting drivers scare the crap out of me.

Anonymous said...

All of this makes me wonder. How did we possibly get along before cell phones? You know back in the olden days when land lines were the only option. You had to be at home or work to get a phone call, or you had to use a pay phone. Speaking of pay phones, I can't recall the last time I saw one.


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